Orthodontic Emergencies

Direct Injuries to the Face, Mouth or Teeth

Following a direct injury to your face, mouth or teeth, whether undergoing orthodontic care or not, you should be seen by us as soon as possible. Usually an x-ray of the involved tooth or teeth is needed to diagnose the extent of the injury. If a tooth has been knocked out, severely displaced or fractured, it is best to contact us immediately. If the orthodontic appliances are dislodged or displaced, we will need to replace or adjust them in a timely manner.

Emergencies Related to Orthodontic Appliances

Broken or loosened appliances may occur from time to time during your orthodontic care. If there is any disturbance such as loose bands, or broken or cutting wires, call our office as soon as possible.

In the interim here are helpful hints to remedy some of the problems that you may encounter until you can be seen in our office:

  • If a wire is irritating your mouth, cover it with the wax that our office has given you.
  • Irritated gum tissues and cheeks can be soothed by rinsing every 1-2 hours with warm, salt water. (Place a tablespoon of table salt in a warm glass of water; swish 4 or 5 mouthfuls for 15 seconds).
  • A loose band or bracket can generally be left in place until seen by us. Call the office as soon as you notice a loose band or bracket so that we can schedule you to reattach the loose appliance. If you have an appliance that happens to come off, do not discard it! Bring it with you to the office at the time of your appointment.
  • A broken archwire or one that is irritating the gum or the cheek tissue needs to be seen as soon as possible for replacement or adjustment.
  • A bent headgear, facebow, or removable appliance that is not fitting well is not to be worn until it can be properly adjusted at the office.